Download A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late by Michael A. Ryan PDF

By Michael A. Ryan

Astrology within the heart a while used to be thought of a department of the mystical arts, one trained via Jewish and Muslim medical wisdom in Muslim Spain. As such it used to be deeply troubling to a few Church professionals. utilizing the celebrities and planets to divine the longer term ran counter to the orthodox Christian thought that humans have loose will, and a few clerical gurus argued that it in all likelihood entailed the summoning of religious forces thought of diabolical. we all know that occult ideals and practices turned frequent within the later center a long time, yet there's a lot in regards to the phenomenon that we don't comprehend. for example, how deeply did occult ideals penetrate courtly tradition and what precisely did these in positions of energy wish to realize by means of interacting with the occult? In A nation of Stargazers, Michael A. Ryan examines the curiosity in astrology within the Iberian state of Aragon, the place principles approximately magic and the occult have been deeply intertwined with notions of energy, authority, and providence.

Ryan specializes in the reigns of Pere III (1336–1387) and his sons Joan I (1387–1395) and Martí I (1395–1410). Pere and Joan spent lavish quantities of cash on astrological writings, and astrologers held nice sway inside their courts. while Martí I took the throne, despite the fact that, he was firm to purge Joan's courtiers and go back to spiritual orthodoxy. As Ryan indicates, the allure of astrology to these in strength was once transparent: predicting the long run via divination used to be a invaluable software for addressing the extreme problems―political, non secular, demographic―plaguing Europe within the fourteenth century. in the meantime, the kings' contemporaries in the noble, ecclesiastical, and mercantile elite had their very own purposes for desirous to be aware of what the long run held, yet their engagement with the occult was once without delay with regards to the volume of strength and authority the monarch exhibited and utilized. A state of Stargazers joins a turning out to be physique of scholarship that explores the blending of non secular and magical rules within the overdue center Ages.

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Oscar G. Darlington, “Gerbert, the Teacher,” American Historical Review 52, no. 3 (1947): 456–76, here 462 n28. ” See also Owen Davies, Grimoires: A History of Magic Books (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 35. 4. This reckoning of Iberia as such continued well into the early modern era, especially in the world of theater. See, among others, Augusta Espantoso Foley, Occult Arts and Doctrine in the Theater of Juan Ruiz de Alarcón (Geneva: Droz, 1972); John S. Mebane, Renaissance Magic and the Return of the Golden Age: The Occult Tradition and Marlowe, Jonson, and Shakespeare (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989); and Robert Lima, Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western Theater and Drama (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005).

45 There is an inherent difficulty in working with these texts, however, for they often reference names, events, and issues in an intentionally obscure manner. Deliberately employing obfuscatory language to write magical and occult texts had a dual purpose: it prevented the uninitiated from unlocking the secret information contained within them and hindered authorities inimical to their messages from understanding them. Divination resists absolute precision, for these texts could be, and were, read in a multiplicity of ways.

Daniel Williman (Binghamton, NY: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1982), 77–105, especially 98 n20; Lerner, “The Black Death in Western European Eschatological Mentalities,” American Historical Review 86 (1981): 533–52. 31. S. Jim Tester, A History of Western Astrology (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1987), 185. 32. Laura Ackerman Smoller, “Of Earthquakes, Hail, Frogs, and Geography: Plague and the Investigation of the Apocalypse in the Later Middle Ages,” Last Things: Death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), 156–87.

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